News Update

Jessica Dean is live in Washington as Congress grapples over whether to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection

Former President Trump is chastising the 35 House Republicans who broke party ranks on Wednesday to support the creation of an independent commission to study the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. 

“They just can’t help themselves,” Trump said of the GOP defectors in a statement Thursday afternoon. 

Calling Republicans who supported the legislation “weak and ineffective,” Trump charged that Democrats have a much easier time sticking together on votes than his party. 

“They don’t have the Romney’s, Little Ben Sasse’s and Cheney’s of the world,” he contended, referring to Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who supported the bill in a floor vote Wednesday afternoon and Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who have expressed potential support in the Senate. 

Trump’s statement comes just 24 hours after he urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, to oppose the commission, the terms of which had been negotiated on a bipartisan basis, and ensure their members followed suit. 

It is unclear just how many Senate Republicans will vote in favor of the commission once it is introduced in the upper chamber.

Supporters of the plan will need at least 10 Republicans in the Senate to join all 50 Democrats in the chamber in order to overcome a 60-vote filibuster and pass the bill.

McConnell announced Wednesday that he opposes the bill, but didn’t tell reporters whether he’d actively whip his fellow Republicans against it.

CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed reporting to this post. 

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